I feel like the rate of production is impacting the quality somewhat, however 1) Hopefully I’ll get better and back up to old standards with practice, and 2) I think 80% of the quality in 20% of the production time is a pretty good deal, especially when, at the old rate of production, it would plausibly take me until fall or even winter 2018 just to finish the hex encounters.
Summary: The small village here is ruled over by a sorcerer who commands the services of an invisible daemon.
Discovery: Upon entering the town, any character with Psyniscience trained to at least Known(+0) can immediately make a Challenging(+0) check in order to detect serious Warp disturbance that moves about the town. Succeeding on the check allows a character to follow the disturbance as it bounces around town. If they follow it for several hours, they will note that it tends to head towards places like the local Red Guard precinct and the larger and wealthier homes of the town, while also regularly returning to the largest estate in town, and also at one point it just goes around in circles for an hour. If the characters manage to guess that they may be following an invisible entity of some kind and that it would be best to avoid detection, it is a Very Hard(-30) Stealth check to do so, however if they succeed, the invisible daemon will not lead them in circles for an hour. When it does this, it’s because it’s noticed the characters (automatically, if they aren’t making a specific effort to be stealthy) and is checking to see if it’s being followed.
Making a Routine(+20) Insight check will allow a character to gather from the locals that there is a local sorcerer warlord who lives in the largest estate in town, who can see and hear everything that goes on. Anyone who tries to strike against him is caught by the Red Guard before they can even get going, and those outsiders who manage to overpower the Red Guard are killed by the sorcerer’s own magic. A whole platoon of PDF showed up from Imperium territory not far to the south and tried to muscle in once. The sorcerer just recalled the Red Guard to his estate, had them fortify it and keep the platoon at bay, and then, over the course of just one night, his magical powers killed all the PDF, one by one. Only the lieutenant was left alive, to flee and report his failure to his masters. The characters may hear about this attack from the PDF’s side if they’re friendly with (or have broken into the records of) the PDF at Grey Harbour.
There is an Imperial spy in the town trying to figure out how the sorcerer killed the PDF platoon. He stays in a random, non-descript apartment near the center of town and has been a mostly normal resident for the past few years. Every night, the sorcerer sends his daemon to stalk a few different people at random, and the night after the characters arrive, he strikes gold. Unless the characters do something to distract the daemon (for example, if they make enough of a scene that the sorcerer assigns the daemon to follow them around instead), the spy is discovered and slaughtered in the middle of the night.
Exploration: The Scrier’s Gaze psyker power, when used to discern what the sorcerer is up to, will reveal the existence of the invisible daemon to the psyker on one hit (with additional information on successive hits, left, as in most cases, to the GM’s discretion to determine). The psyker will receive a vision of a ghostly and transparent (but visible) daemon moving about the town earlier in the day, preferably doing something that the psyker has already seen happen but may not have earlier realized was the result of an invisible assailant.
The daemon is invisible, but not intangible. Throwing flour on it will reveal its position until it can get the flour washed off, and throwing a blanket over it will cause the blanket to hang off its body and outline its shape. Characters who suspect there is an invisible presence at work may be able to make it effectively visible through a trick like this.
Confrontation: The sorcerer has a clever personality and a starting Disposition of 25, or 35 for people who he believes to be Chaos aligned, or 15 for people he believes to be Imperium aligned. Convincing the sorcerer to use his powers against the Imperium requires a Disposition check. Convincing him to swear allegiance to the characters even over other Chaos factions requires a Disposition check at a -30 penalty. Extracting from him the secrets of his sorcerous reign over the town (i.e. that he commands the loyalty of an invisible daemon) requires a Very Hard(-30) Inquiry or Interrogation check.
If the characters figure out there is an invisible daemon and subsequently try to kill it, any attacks made against it are made as though they were blind, unable to make BS attacks and taking a -30 to all WS attacks. If they can estimate the daemon’s position because of something it is holding or carrying (i.e. if it’s picked up a character to chuck them around or has stolen something), then they may make WS and BS attacks with only a -10 penalty. If the daemon has been clearly outlined by something like flour or a blanket, there is no penalty, although the daemon is sure to prioritize making itself invisible again on its turn.
Rewards: As mentioned above, it is possible to convince the sorcerer to help Chaos aligned characters, especially against the Imperium. Otherwise, if the sorcerer and his daemon are killed or otherwise driven from the town, then the characters can easily impose themselves as the new rulers. Because the town is outside of Imperium territory, being Highborn is not required. Any character installed as the new leader gets 1d10 Influence, and any character associated with them gets 1d5. The town can be levied, sacrificing two Influence to automatically succeed on any Influence check made in the town. The town can provide anything that’s common or cheaper, any solid projectile weapon or service that’s average or cheaper, and any medical care, low-tech weapon, or armour that’s scarce or cheaper.